Pitt's DeJuan Blair didn't just stay close to home when deciding where to attend college -- he never left. Blair grew up down the street from campus and has made his wide smile and infectious personality the face of the Panthers program.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon is always one of the hot names in the spring coaching carousel. But he always turns down the suitors, proving his loyalty to a Pitt program that he has helped transform into one of the best in the country, writes Andy Katz.
Sam Young started Pittsburgh on an early 22-point run with a one-handed dunk, a 3-pointer from the baseline, a blocked shot and a steal and the No. 17 Panthers rolled to a 92-45 victory over Buffalo on Friday night.
Levance Fields and freshman DeJuan Blair each scored 16 points to help Pittsburgh (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP) hand Rick Majerus his first loss as coach of the Billikens with a 69-58 win over Saint Louis on Sunday.
Sam Young and DeJuan Blair overwhelmed former NAIA power Houston Baptist from the start with a quick and decisive burst of fast-break dunking and rebounding as Pittsburgh cruised to a season-opening 103-62 victory.
Levance Fields atoned for two missed free throws at the end of the regulation and Pitt recovered after blowing a 19-point lead, beating upstart VCU 84-79 Saturday in the second round of the West Regional.
Pittsburgh, ousted in the first round seven times in 18 previous appearances in the NCAA Tournament, used their long-range marksmanship instead of their considerable brawn, hitting 10 of 21 3-pointers, and beat Wright State 79-58 on Thursday night.